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Interpol Announces Reform on Red Notice Process With Refugees

On May19th, Interpol announced major reforms in its process of handling Red Notices as applied to refugees. At the meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly for the Council of Europe or Pace, Interpol announced significant reforms for purposes of confirmed refugees. These reforms were largely due to the campaign by the European human rights group FAIR to expose the inequalities and abuses in the current system.

FAIR summarized the reforms on its
website as follows:

We need written confirmation of the policy, but this is what we learned: INTERPOL has notified the policy to the National Central Bureaus, the national police contact points for INTERPOL, but has not disseminated it further. In substance, the policy is that INTERPOL will remove a Red Notice if it can verify that the person has been recognised as refugee under the 1951 Convention. It does not matter whether the criminal prosecution in question was the ground for the asylum or not; the grant of asylum suffices. INTERPOL will not reveal to the country behind the Red Notice which country granted asylum, to address confidentiality concerns. There are, however, important caveats: (A) INTERPOL must be able to verify the asylum grant, which asylum-granting countries may be slow to do for confidentiality reasons, and (B) the country issuing the Red Notice can revert to INTERPOL with further material asking it to revisit the decision.

This point was also covered in a prior Interpol resolution,
AGN/53/RES/7 in 1984 and before that in AGN/20/RES/11 in 1951. The problem is that political offenses are difficult to define and nation states almost always artfully plead these offenses. Congratulations to FAIR.

Interpol Drops Red Notice for Ex-Justice Minister

Interpol has withdrawn ‘red notice’ for Georgia’s ex-justice minister Zurab Adeishvili, who is wanted by Tbilisi for number of criminal charges. His allies believe the charges are politically motivated According to the Georgian website

“On April 9, 2015 the Georgian chief prosecutor’s office was notified by Interpol general secretariat that it has revoked red notice against Zurab Adeishvili,” the Georgian prosecutor’s office said in a statement released on April 14 after it emerged that ‘red notice’ against Adeishvili was taken down from Interpol website and his name removed from its wanted list.
The Georgian prosecutor’s office said that in its notification Interpol cited “granting of a refugee status to Adeishvili by one of the countries” as the reason behind its decision to revoke red notice against Georgia’s ex-justice minister; prosecutor’s office said it does not know which country it was.”

Tragically, Red Notices frequently are used to stop people from getting refugee status, but once they get the status, Interpol can be persuaded to remove the notice. In the case of Mr. Adeishvili, the Georgian authorities were apparently upset because the notice was removed without giving them an opportunity to respond. In a separate statement the Georgia prosecutor proposed adding asylum notations to I-link (Interpol’s database) rather than deleting the

Israel Appeals To Interpol to Drop Turkey's Red Notice

Israel has filed a formal challenge to Turkey’s decision to file Red Notices against a number of Israeli officer involved in the Gaza blockade and their efforts to frustrate Turkey’s “blockade running.” Whatever your politics on the Israel/Palestine issue, this is plainly a violation of the Red Notice procedure. To read the article on the notice and the challenge, click here.

International Court Issues Red Notice for Qadaffi

The International Criminal Court at the Hague has issued a Red Notice for the arrest of Prime Minister Qadaffi. According to the Israeli paper Arutz Sheva, the notice was also issued for his son (and presumptive heir)

Seif al-Islam. Also being sought on charges of war crimes is Libya's former intelligence chief, and Qaddafi's son-in-law, Abdullah Al-Senussi